Sure, the term “Orwellian” tends to get overused. However, there can be little doubt to an objective observer that while it may have taken 37 years longer than originally predicted, we have finally arrived at Orwell’s imagined dystopian future. In fact, it could be argued that the world we are living in today is actually far darker and more terrifying than Orwell could have ever imagined. If you doubt the veracity of this claim, keep reading.
First, however, if you are not familiar with George Orwell’s dystopian social science fiction “Nineteen Eighty-Four: A Novel” then, well, quite honestly, shame…shame on you. But, more importantly, if you are not familiar with this seminal work then this article is going to make absolutely zero sense to you. And no, we’re not talking about semen, it’s the definition of seminal that means influential. Geez people. Get it straight. So, anyway, let’s bring you up to speed via Wikipedia:
Published in 1949, the story takes place in an imagined future, the year 1984, when much of the world has fallen victim to perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, historical negationism, and propaganda. Great Britain, known as Airstrip One, has become a province of a totalitarian super state named Oceania that is ruled by the Party who employ the Thought Police to persecute individuality and independent thinking. Big Brother, the leader of the Party, enjoys an intense cult of personality despite the fact that he may not even exist. The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a diligent and skillful rank-and-file worker who secretly hates the Party and dreams of rebellion. He enters into a forbidden relationship with a colleague, Julia, and starts to remember what life was like before the Party came to power.
OK, all up-to-speed, Cliff Notes style.
So, essentially what you have is a world where absolute power is consolidated into a single group of people led by Big Brother. This power allows Big Brother to constantly surveil everyone’s actions as well as absolute control over the distribution of information. This control over information can go so far as to erase or “unperson” people from history, as if they never existed. This is what makes the world imagined in “Nineteen Eighty-Four” so abjectly terrifying.
Now, let’s see just how close we are to Orwell’s dystopian future. We have a group of people led by Big Tech that enjoys an intense cult of personality, especially on Wall Street. Big Tech has the power to surveil everyone’s actions on the Internet, and let’s be honest, at home as well. Gee, thanks Alexa, you ridiculously over engineered alarm clock. And, Big Tech has the ability to erase information and alter history such as how they “unpersoned” Trump and Parler.com for example. Yep, that about covers it. Oh, we forgot the complicit media propaganda. But, let’s be honest, that’s been covered to death. This isn’t The Obvious Observer.
Think about this. Think about the power that we have ceded to, maybe not a government, but far worse, a few evil mega-corporations, Amazon, Google, Twitter, Facebook and Apple. I mean, if it was government there wouldn’t be an issue. Governments are so bureaucratic, bumbling and incompetent that they would take eons to achieve such power, like China, if they could ever get there at all, oh wait, right…China. But in any event, throw a few evil, money-motivated capitalistic corporations in there and it’s a whole new, infinitely more frightening, ballgame.
Is Big Tech watching you? Absolutely. We now know that Amazon is not really an independent third-party provider of hosting services that doesn’t know or care what data is in your application. They certainly did know what was in Parler.com’s application and apparently took offense to it. Google, Facebook, Twitter? Duh. It’s how they make their money people. They watch you, aggregate your data and sell it to advertisers and anyone else they can. Even Russian hackers apparently. So, yes, they are watching you…always.
Bit of a side note but apparently Jeff Bezos (the real Big Brother perhaps?) and Amazon invoked their Thought Police in an attempt to stake out a moral high ground with regards to Parler.com over a bunch of nut jobs ranting, raving and threatening violence. This, despite the fact that Amazon won’t lift a finger to combat child pornography on its platform. That’s not just legal adult content here folks, which; in a big F You! to the “Me Too” movement, is actually allowed by Amazon’s terms of service. I mean, Amazon sells that porn. Oh no, we are talking about horrific and absolutely illegal child pornography. So, Amazon effectively gives actual violence towards children a big ol’ thumbs up but then turns around with a big thumbs down to rants, raves and threats of violence. What? Priorities man.
Can Big Tech silence you? Ask Donald Trump. Banning Trump from their platforms wasn’t enough, they even went after alternatives to their platforms. To call this anti-competitive, well, obviously but probably the least of the problems here. Sure, the First Amendment only protects you from the persecution for free speech from the government. But free speech is a core American value. You either believe in free speech or you do not. Banning speech is, quite frankly, un-American, whether you are technically “allowed” to do it or not. Big Tech, particularly Amazon, Twitter and Facebook, is solidly un-American.
Can Big Tech erase you? Apparently so. Trying to bring up Parler.com, it’s like it never existed. Just like Keyser Söze…poof!…and it was gone. Parler.com has effectively become an unperson. Think about this for a moment. This is China level suppression and historical revisionism. In the West, we all remember how tanks in Tiananmen Square killed hundreds or even thousands of people. But behind the Great Firewall of China, if you weren’t alive in 1989 there’s probably a good chance you’ve never read about that protest since it is perhaps THE most censored topic in China. Essentially, through the control of information, China has “unpersoned” all of those people that were brutally squashed and murdered. Not only that, they “unpersoned” the entire event.
So, the America we are living in as of 2021 is not just “Orwellian” or on it’s way to becoming like Orwell’s imagined 1984. To an objective observer, we’re here folks. Welcome to 1984. It’s in many ways even more terrifying than what Orwell imagined. Instead of an incompetent government holding the reigns, we have the ruthlessly efficient evil corporations running the show. That’s insanely frightening quite honestly.
But, in the end, we are likely all doomed. Just like Winston, we will all be tortured and brainwashed until all traces of independent and rebellious thought are purged from us and we will finally reject our true love of free speech (Julia) and come to accept that we instead love Big Tech. Oh…wait…sorry, spoiler alert if you haven’t read the novel…our bad.
And no, nobody from China will ever read this article. Give Big Tech a few days to find it and nobody else will either…